Sunday, December 28, 2008

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday Scott!

Hayden and Joe wearing their matching shirts that say
"We Have Footprints on Our Heart"
I can't believe a year has gone by already. A year ago I would have never imagined celebrating my child's fist birthday without him. I know things are they way they are supposed to be but oh how I wish things were different. I has been a very hard year without him. I miss him so much. I love him more than anyone could ever imagine. I wish Scott were here with us each and everyday.

We have had a good day today taking extra time to remember Scott. I felt like I really needed to go to church today. So yes, I took my 9 day old baby to Sacrament meeting. After lots of pondering we decided that for Scott's birthday we would by a few copies of some books we read after Scott died and take them to the hospital to be given to people when they lose a baby. We bought "Gone Too Soon" and "We Were Gonna Have a Baby But We Had an Angel Instead." We took the books along with some cards to the hospital right after church. It was hard for me to try and explain why we were there, but I did OK.

This afternoon/evening we invited our families to go visit Scott's grave with us. We took some pretty white and yellow carnations. After the cemetery we came back to our house for some birthday cake. I made an angel food cake for my sweet little angel's birthday.

We went to the cemetery early for Joe to make us a path to the headstone.

I am so grateful for the support of family and friends. I am so grateful for Joe and his patience with me this past year. I know it isn't easy for him to see me so sad and crying because I miss Scott. He always just holds me and tells me he loves me.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Mixed Emotions

I was so excited to come to the hospital today knowing I was going to give birth to my baby boy but I was also very nervous as I remembered the pain of having a c-section, epidural, IV, catheter, etc. As I entered the labor and delivery unit the desk nurse was with someone and asked me to have a seat and wait for a moment. As soon as I sat down I noticed a box on the counter. I knew immediately what it contained. It is the box that contains the hand and feet molds of a baby who died. I was overcome with sadness not only thinking about my Scott but for the mother and father of that baby, knowing the grief they are dealing with.

The labor room I was taken to was the room right next to the one were I gave birth to Scott. I was so afraid the nurse was taking me to the same room but turned one door sooner. I was grateful it wasn't the same room (I would have asked for a different room). Joe could tell something was wrong and asked me what I was thinking about. I said I didn't want to talk about it but he knew I was thinking about Scott and I couldn't help the tears from falling.

While I was in the operating room Joe sat right next to me and held my hand. When the baby was born I heard him cry a sweet little cry. The tears started flowing immediately. Al I could say to myself is "he's alive, he's alive." I was so grateful for the sounds of a crying baby. I remember while I labored with Scott hoping and praying the doctors and nurses would be wrong and that he would be born alive. I waited to hear the sounds of a crying baby but he was born still and silent.

Oh how I miss my little Scott. I love Parker so much. I love him for who he is but it will never take away from the love I have for Scott and will never replace him. I am so grateful to Heavenly Father for each one of my precious baby boys. I am grateful to have Hayden and Parker here on Earth with me. I am equally grateful to have Scott as my angel baby and I look forward to the day when I will be reunited with him. I keep finding myself wishing Parker could talk and tell me about his brother Scott.

I am so grateful that Heavenly Father has allowed me to be a mother. Words cannot express the love I feel as I hold my sweet children.

Monday, December 15, 2008

An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination

A while ago I read about this book An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination: A Memoir by Elizabeth McCraken on The Book Nest. It is about a woman whose first child was stillborn.

There were many parts of the book that stated my feeling so well. Here are some quotes from the book that echo my feelings.

...a person who is dead is a long, long story. You may move on from it, but the death will never disappear from view. Your friends might say, Time heals all wounds. No, it doesn't, but eventually you'll feel better. You'll be yourself again. Your child will still be dead.

I would have done the whole thing over again even knowing how it would end.

I had just stepped over the border from happy pregnancy to grief.

He was a person. I missed him like a person. Seeing babies on streets did not stab me with pain the way I know they stab some grieving women, those who have lost children or simply desperately want to have them. For me, other babies were other babies. They weren't who I was missing.

Before Pudding (Scott) died, I'd thought condolence notes were simply small bits of old-fashioned etiquette, important but universally acknowledged as inadequate gestures. Now they felt like oxygen, and only now do I fully understand why: to know that other people were sad made Pudding (Scott) more real.

My grief was still fresh, grief last longer than sympathy.

I didn't know the woman, but I loved her. I'd felt the same thing meeting another couple on campus, a professor and his wife who'd written me when Pudding died to send condolences and to say that they'd had a daughter who was stillborn nearly thirty years before. All I can say is, it's sort of a kinship, as though there is a family tree of grief.

Twice now I've heard the story of someone who knows someones who's had a stillborn since Pudding has died, and it's all I can do not to book a flight immediately, to show up somewhere I'm not wanted, just so I can say, It happened to me, too, because it meant so much to me to hear it. It happened to me, too, meant: It's not your fault. And You are not a freak of nature. And This doesn't have to be a secret.

That's how it works. When a baby dies, other dead children become suddenly visible.

If you are a mother of a dead child yourself-they will keep coming to you.

I did know him, not with my brain but with my body.

We'd known all along I'd be induce, and I'd said that I wanted to avoid the end of April, particularly April 27, not for my sake but for the kid's; it seemed like a too weighty fact to have in your biography, being born a year to the day after your brother who didn't survive.

Edward (Joseph) had shouldered a great deal in the past few days, he had pushed his enormous pain aside to tend to me.

I find myself thankful for small things.

...she wanted permission to remember her child with pleasure instead of grief. To remember that he was dead, but to remember him without pain: he's dead of course but she still loves him, and that love isn't morbid or bloodstained or unsightly, it doesn't need to be shoved away.
Hopefully you are able to piece these quotes from the book together and make sense of what I read/felt.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Conversation with Callie

A few weeks ago my niece Callie (4 years old)was in town. The two of us were in my car and I asked her what I should name the new baby. She likes Spencer best. We then had the following conversation.

Callie- How come Scott had to die?
Me- Heavenly Father needed him to be a missionary in Heaven.
Callie- Scott's a missionary?
Me- Yep.
Callie- But I never even got to see him.

Riley often tells me she misses Scott and that she wishes he didn't die. I am so grateful that my family has talked to their children about Scott. It makes me happy whenever the little ones talk about their cousin.